The University of Southampton

Paul Ettinger BSc Physics & Electronics, 1980

Southampton was my first choice primarily because of the Physics & Electronics reputation, but I also liked the atmosphere and feel of the campus.

I chose Southampton as my first choice primarily because of the reputation of the Physics & Electronics department, but I also liked the atmosphere and feel of the campus.

At the University I got involved with lots of extra-curricular activities.  I captained the third rugby team and founded the ski racing club.  As captain of the ski club I took 120 people to the Alps which really helped develop key organisational and administrative skills. I also really grew in confidence.

After University I went to work as an engineer in the Sahara desert for two years which was a tremendous experience. I was in a hostile environment with 70 other men learning how to live in the desert!  After two years I decided that I wanted to work in general management instead.  I worked in industry for 12 years in various general management roles and during that time did an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.  It was through a friendship that I made during my MBA course that I got involved in setting up Caffe Nero which has now grown to become a global coffee shop chain with over 600 stores and 4,000 members of staff.

Alongside my role as International Development Director at Caffe Nero I am also Chairman of the local social network ‘Streetlife’.  My current ambition is to turn Streetlife into a global online community.  I still use the skills I learnt as a student now and in particular the technology training from my degree gave me the confidence to undertake the Streetlife project.

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